merlin the magicianThanks to everyone who attended our 2011 Fayre. Unfortunately we were unable to continue with our event, but Blessings to you who supported this giant endeavour!

From now on look for articles and links from various medieval events, historical sources and medieval & renaissance re-enactors.

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News from

Medieval News
Medieval and Ancient History News
  • An interview with Deborah Harkness, author of The Book of Life
    Deborah Harkness, professor of history at the University of Southern California, has just published the final novel in her All Souls Trilogy. It follows the story of Diana Bishop, a historian and modern-day witch, Matthew Clairmont, a 1500-year-old vampire, and an enchanted manuscript at Oxford University's Bodleian Library.

    Click here to read DuJour’s executive editor, Nancy Bilyeau, interview Deborah about The Book of Life

    See also Deborah reading an excerpt from her novel:

  • Vikings: Lives Beyond the Legends - exhibition now underway at Royal BC Museum
    For those living in North America who were envious of the British Museum's recent exhibition on Vikings, there is now an exhibition under way at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, British Columbia. Vikings: Lives Beyond the Legends features over 500 artifacts. It will be on display until November 11th.

    You can see this preview of the exhibition:

     For more details, please visit the Royal BC Museum website

  • Is this how the Bayeux Tapestry would have ended?
    The Alderney Bayeux Tapestry

    The famous Bayeux Tapestry ends with the defeat of King Harold's army and the flight of the Anglo-Saxon soldiers. However, most scholars believe that the original tapestry would have ended with the coronation of William the Conqueror. 

    Now, a community project from the British island of Alderney has recreated the missing piece of the Bayeux Tapestry. It depicts several scenes that they believe would have been in the original tapestry, including a scene where William is crowned on Christmas Day, 1066. 

    Professor Robert Bartlett of the University of St.Andrews tells the BBC: "It has often been pointed out that the opening of the tapestry has a figure of King Edward the Confessor enthroned, and that around the middle point of the tapestry there is an image of William's enemy Harold enthroned.

    "It would be a neat symmetry and make perfect sense of the story if the end of the tapestry had showed the victorious William enthroned, which is what the Alderney team have chosen to do. The other 'new' scenes are more speculative, but they are modelled on scenes earlier in the tapestry so look convincing."

    The recreation is now being displayed next to the original at the Bayeux Tapestry Museum in France - the exhibition will run until August 31st.

    For the full story, please visit the BBC or the Daily Mail.

    Here is a video report about the project from last year:

  • Norse Power! Deodorant that makes you smell like a Viking
    "A team of scent scientists" have developed a new body spray deodorant that promises to give you that medieval warrior smell! Norse Power is an actual product, created by Visit York and the Jorvik Viking Centre and it helps recreate what a Viking probably smelled like.

    Photo courtesy Visit York
    What do you get in a bottle of Norse Power Deodorant For Men?

    • Mead (imbibed generously by Viking warriors after a hard day’s raiding)
    • Blood and gore (spilled on the battlefields as the marauding Vikings conquered all in their path)
    • Smoke (from the settlements razed by Vikings during raids)
    • Seawater (From the journey by longship to British shores)
    • Mud (Vikings often travelled by foot over the sodden terrain)
    • Human sweat (which would have been deep soaked into a warrior’s clothes after a hard day’s raiding)
    • Animal meat, fruits and nuts (the essential ingredients of a hearty Viking feast)
    • Fresh pine (from traversing the many forests of Britain in search of places to conquer)

    Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager of Visit York, explains, "Historical research indicates that the Vikings were quite particular about personal hygiene, especially when compared to the Anglo Saxons. But even so, this only meant washing once a week, which by today’s standards isn’t exactly the height of cleanliness! And for a Viking raider, who’d travelled hundreds of miles over land and sea, and spent their days fighting bloody skirmishes, it’s fair to say they wouldn’t always have carried the most alluring aromas around with them.

    "With Norse Power we wanted to try and capture the sort of smells that would have been part and parcel of the lives of Viking warriors around the time that York was the Norse capital of England. But more than that, with all of the bath products, deodorants, perfumes and aftershaves available today, we wanted to give male visitors to York the unique chance to cast aside their allegiance to modern aromas and instead embrace the smells from an era of true warriors!"

    There might be a few bottles of Norse Power still left at the Visit York Visitor Centre - go to for more information.
  • Watch How European Borders Changed since the Middle Ages
    This very cool video was found by @BeautifulMaps. It shows how the rise and fall of various states in Europe since the mid-twelfth century

    Watch as 1000 years of European borders change (timelapse map) from Nick Mironenko on Vimeo.